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Development. 2007 Sep;134(17):3099-109. Epub 2007 Jul 25.

Haploinsufficiency after successive loss of signaling reveals a role for ERECTA-family genes in Arabidopsis ovule development.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


The Arabidopsis genome contains three ERECTA-family genes, ERECTA (ER), ERECTA-LIKE 1 (ERL1) and ERL2 that encode leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases. This gene family acts synergistically to coordinate cell proliferation and growth during above-ground organogenesis with the major player, ER, masking the loss-of-function phenotypes of the other two members. To uncover the specific developmental consequence and minimum threshold requirement for signaling, ER-family gene function was successively eliminated. We report here that ERL2 is haploinsufficient for maintaining female fertility in the absence of ER and ERL1. Ovules of the haploinsufficient er-105 erl1-2 erl2-1/+ mutant exhibit abnormal development with reduced cell proliferation in the integuments and gametophyte abortion. Our analysis indicates that progression of integument growth requires ER-family signaling in a dosage-dependent manner and that transcriptional compensation among ER-family members occurs to maintain the required signaling threshold. The specific misregulation of cyclin A genes in the er-105 erl1-2 erl2-1/+ mutant suggests that downstream targets of the ER-signaling pathway might include these core cell-cycle regulators. Finally, genetic interaction of the ER family and the WOX-family gene, PFS2, reveals their contribution to integument development through interrelated mechanisms.

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